Sunday, November 16, 2008

Catching Up: Let the Right One In, Vexille, and Sunday night

Cole here again. Well I'm ashamed I didn't post sooner about 'Let the Right One In', but better late than never. I think its a great movie, not just for the atmosphere and the way the movie doesn't explicitly show Eli's vampire powers, but for the sweet romantic nature of the story. One of my favorite things in any story are unique relationships, and they don't get much more unique than the one between weird little Oskar and vampirishly sweet Eli. The scene when she comes into his room and into his bed is crammed with so much stuff: burgeoning adolescence, innocence, losing innocence, creepiness, and is very touching. And the climax...hoo boy! Any movie that has the guts to go where this movie went in regards to kids gets a big thumbs up in my book, namely in showing how the idea that kids are all innocent little perfect beings who don't start being corrupt until they become teenagers is a load of bs.

I also loved how neither Oskar nor Eli are simple cypher characters, there for the audience to put themselves into the story. If anything, I found that human Oskar is creepier than vampire Eli. But its that neither character is normal that makes their relationship that much more investing and heartwarming, for a weird geek like me anyway.

But unfortunately before that I had to sit through 'Vexville', which told me exactly what it was from the first ten minutes: the average anime set in the not-too-distant future that is just cel shaded. For those who don't know, cel-shading is where something is modeled in 3D and the colored and lighted to resemble traditional animation, somewhat similar to rotoscoping and most famously, or infamously, used in the video game 'The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker'. From what the presenter said, its on the cutting edge of animation. Too bad the story is more than 15 years stale.

Seriously, there's no way I can over-emphasize how derivative and boring the movie was. Wow, a futuristic city! Amazing, futuristic techno-armor! Holy cow, green-lit metal corridors! Not only that, but after two somewhat exciting if unoriginal action scenes in the beginning, about 20 minutes in the main character finds herself in Japan. And while the set up for the future of Japan is unique, as are the "Jags", giant 'Dune sandworm-like' monsters made of swirling metal and debris, these are about the only two cool things in the movie, and even with the future of Tokyo its just all slums. The main character has no character and sits on her ass most of the movie, there's maybe on single drop of humor near the end, rendering the whole movie flat, the drama that's there is melodramatic, and a good chunk of the movie is spent with the characters sitting on their asses in the slums of futuristic Tokyo.

Can you imagine someone thought it was a good idea to use amazing computer generated animation and use it to render boring sheet metal and plywood slums? I'll never understand why people take advanced animation technology and use it to render the most boring things imaginable, be it rooms resembling an industrial buildings in the video game 'Doom 3' to the glut of CGI talking animal movies.

In case I haven't gotten the point across, DON'T SEE VEXILLE! If you want to experience the wonders of japanese animation, rent "Akira", rent any of the "Ghost in the Shell" movies or TV shows, and hell rent some Miyazaki anyway ("Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" and "Princess Mononoke" are two enthralling starters). But at least if 'Vexville' got you interested in anime, then that's a good thing.

Also, tried attending the Weekly's wrap up part at Club Embargo Saturday night. Great thing about a press pass is where it can get you in. Bad thing is getting out. Walking into a club packed full of people for someone who loathes crowds was a bad idea. In and out in 2 minutes, tops.

Well, tonight's the last night. I'm looking forward to seeing 'Network' and some of the shorts. Hope to see some of y'all there!

No comments: